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GODFREY - The Montclaire Swim Club Marlins of Edwardsville got big performances from swimmers in all age groups to win the 59th edition of the Southwestern Illinois Swimming Association meet Sunday at Summers Port Swim Club in Godfrey, taking the overall title with 2,507 points, well ahead of Paddlers Swim Club Pirates of Granite City, who came in second with 1,661 points. The host Sharks were third with 1,511 points, Splash City's Gators of Collinsville came in fourth with 1,497.5 points and the Sunset Hills Stingrays of Edwardsville was fifth with 487.5 points.
In the boys division, the Marlins came in first with 1,224 points, with the Pirates in second with 888.5 points, the Gators came in third with 821 points, the Sharks were fourth at 674 points and the Stingrays came in fifth with 256.5 points.
Montclaire also won the girls division, coming up with 1,283 points, with Summers Port second at 837 points, Paddlers came in third with 772.5 points, Splash City was fourth at 676.5 and Sunset Hills was fifth at 231 points.
During the meet, the head coaches of the Marlins, Stingrays and Sharks all felt their teams were swimming well, and the most important thing was that all the swimmers were enjoying themselves tremendously.
"Everybody's swimming fantastic," said Montclaire head coach Porter LeVasseur. "We've had almost best times going in. The most important thing, everyone's having a really fun time, and that's the main goal of this meet, is to get everyone into swimming and some fast swimming for everybody and having a good time."
And after having last year's meet and season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LeVasseur thought that this season was very important to both him and his team.
"It means so much to everyone here," LeVasseur said. "I know to me, especially, being able to coach out here has been a wonderful opportunity. And just being able to have so many kids this year, I could help learn the love of swimming, and get better at swimming and hopefully, turn them into year-round swimmers, just show them how enjoyable the sport is. It's just fantastic, especially this year, coming back from COVID, it gave us the opportunity, because everyone was looking to do some stuff. It gave us a lot more swimmers than we normally have. All the coaches, me especially, were really happy to show them what swimming was, and how much fun it is."
The larger numbers is also uncovering great talent and potential for many of the newer and younger swimmers on the team.
"Yeah, we're uncovering some great talent," LeVasseur said. "We have so many swimmers, that it's their first year swimming, and just appeared out of nowhere, like some of them came in their first day and just were fantastic swimmers, having never having swam before. And then, all of a sudden, we have some kids the last couple of years, and that little break right there really helped them. And we got in there, we fixed and tweaked a few things at the beginning, and they've dropped so much time."
The Stingrays also swam well in the meet, and although the season was shortened due to COVID and the team's numbers were down, there were still good times put up by the swimmers.
"I think our kids are swimming fast for not having that long of a season," said Sunset Hills head coach Phoebe Gremaud, "and we have a smaller team here this year. But I think we're really doing well for having a smaller team."
Gremaud agreed that just to be having a season meant a lot to her and her swimmers.
"I love coming to the meet and seeing all the kids and coaches," Gremaud said, "and their parents, and not having to social distance or anything like that. I really am having a good time."
The swimmers were very excited to have the chance to compete this year, and the new swimmers have had an opportunity to shine.
"I think everyone is really excited to be swimming," Gremaud said. "I know Sunset and Montclair have had the most new beginner swimmers that they've seen in years, and I think that's because they didn't swim last year. And I think having everyone excited is really good for the beginner swimmers."
Gremaud felt very grateful the for the chance to return to swimming in 2021.
"Yes, very grateful," Gremaud said with a smile.
The Sharks also had great performances from their team, and embraced an opportunity to learn, especially with the club hosting the meet for the first time in a few years.
"I think it's a good meet, it's a good learning experience for all of us," said Summers Port head coach Maddie Monroe. "Definitely hosting the meet has been a challenge, just because it's been a few years since we've hosted, it's my first time. But overall, I think the meet's going well, we're running it well, and our kids are swimming really fast. That's the most important part, and we're having fun."
To be holding the meet this year definitely meant a lot to everyone involved with the league, as happy swimmers, coaches and spectators was the rule.
"Yeah, absolutely," Monroe said. "You can see on the pool deck everyone smiling, we're all having a good time, it feels good to be outside and be back in the water and finish out the season, just because I don't think in the history, I don't think we've missed an entire season. So it's good to have everybody back here."
And to be back out after having missed the 2020 season was also very meaningful to the Sharks' swimmers and coaching staff.
"It's been a challenging year for everybody," Monroe said. "A lot of kids just sitting on the couch, not knowing what to do. A lot of kids out of the water without a place to swim, so I think it means even more this year, and the fact that we get to honor both our 2020 and 2021 seniors, who really lost, basically, their whole year last year. So we're excited this morning to get to honor those guys, and have our 2021 senior year's finish up their last meet. So it means a lot."
In the boys eight-and-under races, the Montclaire team of Max Ferguson, Grant Lu, Eli Voss and Carter Wolters won the 100-yard medley relay with a time of 1:30.94, Paddlers coming in second at 2:00.77 and Summers Port third at 2:07.36. Lu took the 25-yard freestyle with a time of 14.56 seconds, with the Sharks' Jack Osborn second at 20.64 seconds and Sunset Hills' Connor High third at 22.72 seconds. In the 50-yard freestyle, Lu won his third event, coming in at 32.44 seconds, with Voss second at 33.03 seconds and Osborn third at 44.17 seconds. In the 25-yard breaststroke, Lu won with a time of 26.72 seconds, with teammate Parker Schlonat second at 30.79 seconds and Paddlers' Parker Dodds third at 32.59 seconds. In the 25-yard backstroke, Voss took the win at 19.33 seconds, with Wolters second at 29.69 seconds and Alex Jones of the Pirates third at 30.17 seconds. Voss also won the 25-yard butterfly, coming in at 18.88 seconds, with Osborn second at 22.60 seconds and Trevor Rivenburgh of Paddlers third at 31.25 seconds. The Marlins' team of Wolters, Schlonat, Lu and Voss won the 100-yard freestyle relay at 1:31.87, with Summers Port second at 1:42.02 and Paddlers third at 1:53.22.
In the girls eight-and-under events, the Splash City 100-yard medley relay team of Annie Tucker, Julia Berger, Addie Linenfelser and Avery Finch won the race with a time of 1:40.65, with Summers Port second at 1:43.97 and Montclaire third at 1:54.55. Finch was also the winner of the 25-yard freestyle with a time of 17.94 seconds, with the Stingrays' Hildi Deist second at 18.44 seconds and the Gators' Vivian Cross third at 19.03 seconds. Finch also won the 50-yard freestyle, having a time of 42.12, with Cross second at 42.33 seconds and the Marlins' Ava Therien third at 45.89 seconds. Cross took home the title in the 25-yard breaststroke, coming in at 24.97 seconds, with Caroline Walton of Sunset Hills second at 25.53 seconds and Berger third at 26.30 seconds. Finch won her third individual race in the 25-yard backstroke, coming in at 22.94 seconds, with Therien second at 24.38 seconds and Walton third at 25.34 seconds. In the 25-yard butterfly, Summers Port's Piper Fry was the winner at 25.25 seconds, with Therien second at 25.29 seconds and Montclaire teammate Lillian Morris third at 27.72 seconds. The Splash City team of Cross, Berger, Tucker and Finch won the 100-yard freestyle relay at 1:27.61, with Summers Port second at 1:36.41 and Paddlers third at 1:43.96.
In the boys 9-10 division, Noah Aldridge of the Sharks won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:16.24, with the Marlins' Caiden Calvin second at 1:16.59 and teammate Aaron Hong third at 1:20.63. In the 200-yard medley relay, Calvin, Michael Becker, Boden Rives and Braxton Tite of Montclaire were the winners at 2:49.06, with Splash City second at 3:06.27 and Summers Port third at 3:06.59. Calvin won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 35.59 seconds, Becker came in second at 35.68 seconds and the Gators' Hunter Schubert was third at 38.06. Rives took the 100-yard individual medley at 1:19.13, with Splash City's Grant Schultz second at 1:36.54 and Hong was third at 1:36.82. Rives came out on top in the 50-yard breaststroke, coming in at 41.48 seconds, with Schubert second at 49.41 seconds and Becker was third at 49.57 seconds. Calvin was the winner of the 50-yard backstroke at 41.31 seconds, with Schubert second at 42.14 seconds and the Sharks' Nick Davis third at 49.16 seconds. Rives came out on top in the 50-yard butterfly, having a time of 36.22 seconds, with Aldridge second at 44.43 seconds and Hong third at 49.39 seconds. Becker, Calvin, Tite and Rives won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:22.73, with Summers Port second at 2:33.36 and Splash City third at 2:47.06.
In the girls 9-10 races, the Pirates' Laine Curry won the 100-yard freestyle in a meet record 1:02.61, with the Gators' Claire Berger second at 1:13.24 and the Marlins' Ashley Hong third at 1:13.59. The 200-yard medley relay went to the Paddlers' team of Kaylee Kohl, Alexandra Suhre, Curry and Lily Kohl at 2:32.47, with Splash City second at 2:53.74 and Sunset Hills third at 2:54.32. The Gators' Brinley Presson won the 50-yard freestyle at 34.74 seconds, with Suhre second at 35.36 seconds and Lily Kohl third at 35.84 seconds. In the 100-yard individual medley, Curry won her second event in meet-record time at 1:11.65, with Hong second at 1:24.29, and Edyn Cohn of Sunset Hills third at 1:25.69. Hong took the 50-yard breaststroke at 43.31 seconds, with Suhre second at 43.33 seconds and Nora Walton of Sunset Hills third at 46.09 seconds. Cohn won the 50-yard backstroke at 39.62 seconds, with Kaylee Kohl second at 43.92 seconds and Presson third at 44.82 seconds. Curry was the winner in the 50-yard butterfly, establishing her third meet-record time of the day at 31.31 seconds, with Cohn second at 40.66 seconds and Berger was third at 42.50 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Lily and Kaylee Kohl, along with Suhre and Curry, won the race for the Pirates, coming in at 2:17.20, with Splash City second at 2:30.73 and Sunset Hills third at 2:38.07.
The results of the boys 11-12 races started with the Pirates' Jackson Suhre winning the 100-yard freestyle at 1:04.40, with Erick Humphrey of the Sharks second at 1:05.84 and Colin Donaldson of the Marlins third at 1:09.08. The Paddlers team of Mason Roseman, Charlie Brener, Suhre and Andrew Willaredt won the 200-yard medley relay at 2:26.44, with Splash City second at 2:35.12 and Montclaire third at 2:35.22. Donaldson was the winner of the 50-yard freestyle at 29.60 seconds, with Bremer second at 29.84 seconds and Paddlers teammate Beau Roberts third at 34.50 seconds. Suhre won the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 1:15.64, with Humphrey second at 1:17.11 and Bremer third at 1:15.81. Bremer was the winner of the 50-yard breaststroke at 39.08 seconds, with the Gators' Tyler Brooks seconds at 39.43 and Humphrey third at 40.58 seconds. Splash City went one-two in the 50-yard backstroke, with Brooks winning at 33.87 seconds and teammate Brock Presson second at 43.41 seconds, with Montclaire's Jace Snyder third at 43.83 seconds. Suhre was the winner in a close race in the 50-yard butterfly, coming in at 32.00 seconds, with Brooks second at 32.06 seconds and Donaldson third at 33.75 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Pirates' team of Roseman, Willaredt, Bremer and Suhre won with a time of 2:05.62, with the Gators second at 2:19.66 and Marlins third at 2:24.90.
In the girls' 11-12 events, the Marlins swept the top three in the 100-yard freestyle, with Scout Jackson winning at 59.63 seconds, Karissa Osborn was second at 1:03.91 and Emily Grandone was third at 1:09.25. The Montclaire team of Osborn, Grandone, Jackson and Vivian Lu won the 200-yard medley relay at a meet-record 2:09.13, with Paddlers second at 2:21.42 and Splash City third at 2:32.05. Jackson was the winner in the 50-yard freestyle in a meet-record-tying 26.79 seconds, with Lu second at 27.41 seconds and Splash City's Hadley Gimple third at 29.63 seconds. The Pirates went one-two in the 100-yard individual medley, with Lydia Harrison winning at a meet-record time of 42.42 seconds, with Reilly Curry second at 1:07.05 and Lu third at 1:12.02. Grandone was the winner in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 39.12 seconds, with the Gators' Emily Kober second at 42.14 seconds and the Marlins' Willow Jackson third at 42.26 seconds. Curry was the winner in the 50-yard backstroke, coming in at another meet-record time of 29.88 seconds, with Scout Jackson second at 31.10 seconds and Osborn third at 34.00 seconds. Curry was also the winner of the 50-yard butterfly at 29.57 seconds, with Lu second at 30.23 seconds and Montclaire's Kyla Calvin third at 32.84 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Marlins team of Lu, Calvin, Osborn and Scout Jackson won with a meet-record time of 1:52.28, with Paddlers second at 2:07.18 and Summers Port third at 2:17.73.
In the boys 13-14 age group, Chase Milburn of Montclaire won the 200-yard freestyle at 2:10.44, with Stephen Stobbs of Summers Port second at 2:13.55 and Beau Roberts third at 2:31.70. Luke Berger of Splash City won the 100-yard freestyle at 56.91 seconds, with Summers Port Nathan Kotzamanis second at 58.33 seconds and Andre Myers of Montclaire third at 59.53 seconds. The 200-yard medley relay was won by Montclaire's team of Myers, Jeremiah Watters, Milburn and Bobby Grilli at 2:05.18, while Splash City was second at 2:14.35 and Summers Port came in third at 2:18.96. Milburn was the winner of the 50-yard freestyle at 25.73 seconds, with Berger second at 25.86 seconds and Sam Klee of Paddlers third at 26.27 seconds. Watters took the 100-yard individual medley at 1:05.83, with Kotzamanis second at 1:08.78 and Myers third at 1:09.95. In the 100-yard breaststroke, it was Berger the winner at 1:15.69, with Watters second at 1:15.89 and Jack Rea of the Sharks third at 1:16.45. Watters took the 100-yard backstroke at 1:05.41, with Kotzamanis second at 1:07.72 and Klee third at 1:10.14. Klee won the 50-yard butterfly at 28.56 seconds, with Milburn second at 29.03 seconds and Stobbs third at 29.10 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Montclaire's Watters. Grilli, Myers and Milburn won with a time of 1:46.98, with Summers Port second at 1:50.67 and Splash City third at 1:50.89.
In the girls 13-14 age group, the Marlins' Parker LeVasseur won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:13.55, with teammate Karis Chen coming in second at 2:22.22 and Summers Port's Mackenzie Ingram third at 2:59.84. The 100-yard freestyle was won by the Gators' Kyle Strong-Chasteen at 57.89 seconds, with Chen second at 1:02.51 and Splash City's Sophie Van Middendorp third at 1:09.27. The Marlins team of Grace Oertle, Chen, Madison Popelar and LeVasseur won the 200-yard medley relay at 2:04.82, with Paddlers second at 2:26.86 and Summers Port third at 2:43.72. Strong-Chasteen won the 50-yard freestyle at 25.87 seconds, with Chen second at 28.38 seconds and Faith Marana of Paddlers third at 29.48 seconds. Oertle won the 200-yard individual medley at a meet-record time of 1:03.64, with LeVasseur second at 1:12.36 and Marana third at 1:20.32. Oertle won her second straight event in the 100-yard breaststroke, coming in at 1;14.69, with Popelar second at 1:26.56 and the Sharks' Launa Schwank third at 1:27.57. Oertle won again in the 100-yard backstroke, with a meet-record time of 1:02.20, with Van Middendorp second at 1:16.37 and Marana third at 1:18.13. Strong-Chasteen was the winner of the 50-yard butterfly at 28.13 seconds, with LeVasseur second at 29.91 seconds and Popelar third at 35.05 seconds. The 200-yard freestyle relay was won by the Marlins' team of LeVasseur, Popelar, Willow Jackson and Oertle at 1:51.84, with the Gators second at 2:05.00 and the Pirates third at 2:06.34.
In the boys 15-18 division, Jose Alfonzo of Montclaire was the winner of the 200-yard freestyle at 1:58.23, with Summers Port's Christian Kotzamanis second at 2:06.77 and Montclaire's Daniel Sanchez third at 2:10.38. The Marlins took the top two places in the 100-yard freestyle, with Alfonzo winning at 49.50 seconds and Evan Grinter second at 49.95 seconds, with the Sharks' Luke Daniel third at 57.08 seconds. In the 200-yard medley relay, Montclaire's team of Eddie Myers, Cohen Osborn, Alfonzo and Grinter won the race at 1:42.80, with Paddlers coming in second at 1:58.21 and Summers Port third at 2:00.22. Grinter won the 50-yard freestyle at 22.34 seconds, with Sunset Hills' Owen Gruben second at 23.73 seconds and Myers was third at 23.97 seconds. Osborn won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 56.99 seconds, with Wyatt Loftus of Paddlers second at 1:04.81 and both Kotzamanis and Nathan Weil of Splash City ended up in a dead heat for third, with both having times of 1:05.87. Osborn was the winner in the 100-yard breaststroke, having a time of 1:03.89, with the Pirates' Maddox Kennedy second at 1:10.77 and the Marlins' Canon Adams third at 1:12.23. Grinter took the 100-yard backstroke at 56.55 seconds, with Myers second at 1:01.02 and Lucas Frye of Summers Port third at 1:08.36. Alfonzo was the winner of the 50-yard butterfly, coming in at 24.41 seconds, with Osborn second at 24.88 seconds and Gruben third at 25.93 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Montclaire's team of Grinter, Alfonzo, Myers and Osborn were the winners with a time of 1:31.33, with Summers Port second at 1:41.01 and Paddlers third at 1:41.59.
Finally, in the girls 15-18 age group, Anna Moehn of Montclaire won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:58.73, with Amanda Beuth of Splash City second at 2:04.72 and the Marlins' Ava Whittaker third at 2:12.85. In the 100-yard freestyle, Eleni Kotzamanis of Summers Port won the race with a time of 54.34 seconds, with Autumn Grinter of Montclaire second at 55.74 seconds and her teammate Maddie Milburn third at 1:00.20. In the 200-yard medley relay, the Marlins' Allison Naylor, Milburn, Whittaker and Autumn Grinter won with a time of 1:59.46, with Summers Port second at 2:04.03 and Paddlers third at 2:12.49. Naylor won the 50-yard freestyle at 25.33 seconds, with Autumn Grinter second at 25.64 seconds and Kotzamanis third at 25.66 seconds. In the 100-yard individual medley, Moehn won with a meet-record time of 1:01.15, with Naylor second at 1:05.55 and Beuth was third at 1:07.55. Montclaire swept the top three spots in the 100-yard breaststroke, with Jordan Schlueter winning at 1:17.21, Olivia Ramirez second at 1:18.93 and Milburn third at 1:19.84. Kotzamanis won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:00.49, with Beuth second at 1:02.01 and Montclaire's Savannah Grinter third at 1:08.89. Moehn took the 50-yard butterfly in a meet-record time of 26.84 seconds, with Naylor second, also in meet-record time of 27.17 seconds and Whittaker was third at 28.25 seconds. In the final race of the day, the Marlins' team of Autumn Grinter, Milburn, Whittaker and Naylor won the 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:45.10, with Summers Port second at 1:48.21 and Splash City third at 1:56.23.
In addition, two special races were conducted, with two former Summers Port swimmers getting a chance to end their careers with the club. Patrick Moehn swam the 50-yard butterfly in 27.94 seconds and Grace Stobbs had a time in the 50-yard freestyle of 29.57 seconds.
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